(Jlazette SPORTS Wednesday, September 17,2003 — Page 23 Reds pound Pirates. Page 27 Rick Weaver Twins control destiny It's almost like somebody upstairs likes the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are not letting on that they think they have the inside track on their second successive American League Central Division race. They didn't do so after taking three of four from the Cleveland Indians over the weekend. And they didn't even after their 5-2 victory Tuesday night over the Chicago White Sox. Last night's victory pushed the Twins' lead atop the division to l'/z games. "I think if we take two out of three it's ours to lose," said Indiana's Michael Ryan as his team prepared to open its crucial series with the White Sox. "We still have to take care of business against Cleveland and Detroit But I think we control our own destiny if we can win two of three in the series." It is easy to understand why Twins manager Ron Gardenhire does not want his team to be too self-assured as the season enters the final 12 days. But if strength of schedule means anything, Minnesota clearly has the easiest. The White Sox have the most difficult, and Kansas City, which remained ZVz back after . outslugging the Indians, - ; U 12-8, Tuesday, are right in the middle. Minnesota has two games left against the White Sox at the Metrodome. Seven of its last nine games are against Detroit which is winning this season about as often as teenagers are downloading music from 1950s crooner Julius La Rosa. The other two are against the Indians, their last two home games of the regular season. "We know these teams are not going to sit there and roll over," Ryan said. "They have a lot of pride. I know Detroit's playing with a lot on the line also. Cleveland wants be a spoiler. They can dictate what happens in the playoffs, and they know that. So every game is so important." "Cleveland and Detroit have a lot of young guys who are trying to prove themselves at this level," outfielder Dustin Mohr said. "And if we relax, they're going to take advantage of that and they can hurt us." Chicago has a brutal schedule down the stretch. Not only must the White Sox contend with the Twins for two more nights at Minneapolis, but they also have seven games against the Royals, plus three at home'next week against the New York Yankees. Kansas City's schedule also includes three games against the Tigers, who are on the verge of smashing the modem American League and major-league records for most losses in a season. One thing is for sure: If the Twins do not make,the AL playoffs, they will have no one to blame but themselves. You can send e-mail to: weaver@indianagazette. net Heritage game will go Thursday The spectre of Hurricane Isabel has prompted a change in at least one area scholastic football game. Expecting the storm to reach the region by Friday, Northern Cambria High School announced that its Heritage Conference football game against Homer- Center wilt be played on Thursday, 7 p.m. The game originally was scheduled for Friday, according to athletic director Mike Hogan. — Rick Weaver HJP's P.J. Yurt stopped Kalem McRae during the Indians' 42-0 shutout of West Virginia Tech Saturday. ; ....-,:: -,i 1 -..._... (Gazette photo by Mkhael Henninger) lUP's Cignetti: So far, so good By MATTHEW BURGLUND Gazette Sports Writer Because of their inexperience in key positions, preseason talk about the IUP Indians predicted them to be headed in one of two opposite directions. They were either going to suffer through a 3-8 season, or win them all and bring home the first NCAA Division II national championship in Indiana University of Pennsylvania history — but nowhere in between. Two weeks into the season, it's clear the fourth-ranked Indians are much better than expected, and the playoffs are an easily attainable goal. And head coach Frank Cignetti is thrilled with what his team has done so far. "I would not have thought of us going 3-8," Cignetti said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "I knew we had a lot of work to do. And we missed a lot of guys in spring ball. But I knew we had a talented team. I just didn't know how good it would be." The Indians followed a gutsy win over Nebraska-Omaha in the first game with a 42-0 thumping of West Virginia Tech last Saturday. Though the second victory wasn't much of a surprise, Cignetti said he's pleased with the way his team played against the Golden Bears, who didn't provide much of a test a week after nationally ranked Nebraska-Omaha took IUP to the wire. "We didn't lay down," he said. "We could have, but we didn't. I think it would have been easy, but our guys played hard." The fact IUP has played so well in its first two games has a lot to do with the way it has jelled so quickly. The Indians had to replace five starters on offense and six on defense, and no one was quite sure how long it would take the new players to mesh. The offense has struggled at times, but it has proved its many weapons to be powerful ones. Wide receivers LeRon McCoy and Derrick Smith have shown big-play ability, tailback Mike Jemison leads the conference in rushing, and Kevin Weidl has made huge strides from the first game to the second. "I'm not disappointed in the offense, believe me," Cignetti said. "I just think we need to cut down on mistakes and be more consistent." Consistent is the word to describe the defense, which stifled every attempt West Virginia Tech made at the end zone. Linebackers NealWood andTye Desiderio have had breakout games, defensive end Andrew Battle had a career day on Saturday, and the secondary has shown its depth to be its most valuable commodity. And you can't forget special teams. Kicker Josh Telenko has been perfect, and sophomore Brian Bmke already has perfected the pooch punt. And freshmen Matt Schafer (long snapper) and Mike Rairigh (holder) have yet to make a mistake. Continued on page 25 Debate rages over proposed rules By DAN NEPHIN Associated Press Writer PITTSBURGH—A proposal by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to simplify what it says are oft-confusing rules about when hunters must wear fluorescent orange and how much they should wear has turkey hunters seeing red. Turkey hunters say the measures won't improve safety and will make turkey hunting more difficult because the birds can see color and will avoid a swatch of blaze orange. "They'll be able to spot you 100 yards away or farther than that and you won't be able to call them in," said Carl Mowry, president of the state chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The chapter is urging commission members to either change the proposal or vote it down Oct. 7, when it's scheduled for a vote, Mowry said. Pennsylvania is among only a couple of states with any orange requirement for turkey hunters, according to Mowry and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Oklahoma and Virginia require turkey hunters to wear orange while the turkey and deer seasons overlap. Jerry Feaser, a Game Commis- sion spokesman, said safety is another reason for the proposal, which applies to other forms of hunting as well, though turkey hunters have been the most vocal opponents. Last year, 24 hunters were injured in turkey hunting-related shootings. Usually, a hunter mistakes another hunter's movement or sound for that of a turkey, Feaser said. Mowry, 42, of Butler, and James Powell, a spokesman for the National Wild Turkey Federation, say education, not orange clothing, is the solution. Because Pennsylvania's turkey hunting accidents are higher than many other states without the orange requirements, "that right there tells you that blaze orange is not a panacea to hunting accidents," Powell said. "If you educate hunters properly on how they should conduct themselves in the field ... you're going to have a lot safer people in the woods than you would if you have a bunch of people running around in blaze orange." Powell said there have also been incidents in which turkey hunters wearing orange have been shot by other hunters who mistook the color as the red of a turkey. Continued on page 27 Carl Mowry, president of the National WiU Turkey Federation's Pennsylvania chapter, said hunter education, not orange clothing, will lead to a reduction in hunting accidents. (AP photo) Few big names set for 84 Classic By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer FARMINGTON — Tiger Woods first suggested that Joe Hardy stage a PGA Tour event at the plusher-than-plush resort the lumberyard multimillionaire built high atop a rural western Pennsylvania hilltop. Too bad for Hardy the man who originated the idea for the 84 Lumber Classic won't be playing in it. Just as with several other tournaments played after, the majors are over and the top money winners have begun taking some time off, the Pittsburgh area's first regular PGA Tour stop didn't land many big names. Only one of the top 20 on the money list will tee off Thursday at Hardy's Nemacolin Woodlands resort: No. 14 Chris DiMarco. He won the tournament's forerunner, the Pennsylvania Classic, in suburban Philadelphia in 2000. Getting DiMarco wasn't a lock, either; the former University of Florida player and Gators fan is passing up this week's football game against Tennessee to compete. After DiMarco, no one on the money list higher than No. 21 Steve Flesch is entered. No. 20 Shaun Micheel, the PGA winner, originally committed but was not on the final list of entries. The most recognizable names are 2002 PGA champion Rich Beem, plus Hal Sutton, Lee Janzen, Mark Calcavecchia and Rocco Mediate, who is from nearby Greensburg. Apparently, not even the lure of bunking in rooms that normally rent for about $600 a night at the resort's European-style hotel could entice many names to an event with a less-than-desirable " ' location arid less-than-desirable dates. It probably didn't help that the $4 million purse is below average; 23 of the 45 tournaments that draw PGA Tour pros have purses of $5 million or more. Next week's $3.5 million Texas Open in San Antonio also will have a mostly nameless field; the next quality field isn't expected until the $6 million American FJC- press Championship in Woodstock, Ga., Oct. 2-5. It's not exactly what Hardy envisioned last year, when he said the tournament would be so special and amenity-filled for the players and their families that they would someday regard it as the fifth major. "We mink this will be a trend... to have more tournaments at resorts, rather than at a country club where members don't like giving up their course," Hardy said. "We've wanted this for 15 or 20 years and we're going to do it right." The resort itself is a spectacular change of pace from the country club and private club atmosphere at most PGA Tour stops, but it's also out of the way, located alongside what can be a tough-to-navigate two-lane road about 70 miles from Pittsburgh. And while nearly 60,000 tickets have been distributed, including some to 84 Lumber customers, the question is how many fans will stop watching football to actually turn out. Sunday's final round conflicts with the Steelers- Bengals telecast and the final Pirates home game of the season. The Mystic Rock course, which cost $19 million to build in 1995 and has been substantially altered since, is typical Pete Dye: lots of boulders, big bunkers and severely undulating, greens. There's plenty of water, too, on the 7,329-yard, par-72 layout, including a $600,000 waterfall suggested by John Daly. A friend of Hardy's, Daly is serving as the tournament's unofficial host There's even a John Daly Learning Center at the resort, where Daly played in an exhibition with Woods in 1997 that drew approximately 25,000 Memorial Day spectators. Sunday's final isn't expected to draw anything close to that, if the small galleries in the 2001 Pennsylvania Classic at Laurel Valley in nearby Ugonier were any indicator. That tournament, also played during the third weekend of September, had a much better field due to the postponement of the Ryder Cup matches. The 84 Lumber Classic is one of only two PGA Tour stops in which the host also is the title sponsor. The other is the Funai Walt Disney Classic.
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